Cedar Rapids Prairie boys' cross country earns 10th state berth in a row

Hawks win boys' district team title, Iowa City West sweeps individual honors with girls' crown

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IOWA CITY — Bill Schwarz is a firm believer in the “power of the pack.”

The Cedar Rapids Prairie boys’ cross country coach knows, in the absence of a front-runner, the success of his team typically relies on essential contributions throughout the lineup.

“The pack” rose up again on Thursday.

With five runners in the top 15, the Hawks won the team title (41 points) at a Class 4A boys’ state-qualifying meet at Ashton Cross Country Course at the University of Iowa.

“They’re great kids,” Schwarz said. “It’s a pleasure to go to practice every day. They treat each other well and athletically, we’ve got a deep squad that is really grouped up nicely.”

The top-3 teams and top-15 individuals qualified for the state meet, which is Oct. 28 at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge. This is the tenth year in a row that the Hawks have qualified as a team.

Prairie was led by senior Robert Laue, who finished second overall (16:18.9) and is one of three Hawks to lead the team at a meet this season.

Twin brother Max Laue (seventh in 16:38.70), junior Colton LaGrange (eighth in 16:40.10) and sophomore Jack Pendergast (10th in 16:48.40) each posted top-10 times.

“We’ve always been running together all year,” Robert Laue said. “Had a good pack and just feeling confident.”

Prairie will be at full strength for the state meet when senior Mike Jasa returns from a sore shin.

Kolby Greiner continued his stellar junior campaign with a victory in 16:07.50 for Iowa City West, which placed second in the team standings with 68 points.

“I always believe in that a fast runner is a runner that’s having fun,” Greiner said. “I’m so glad I’m going back to state with the team. … You always want a group of guys there that have a bond and you’re fighting for something together.”

At third place, Cedar Rapids Washington (72 points) also qualified for state as a team thanks to a 4-5-6 finish from juniors Khory Nobles, Paul Schneidermann and sophomore Max Locher.

Iowa City High senior Quenton Max qualified for state as an individual.

West swept both honors in the girls’ race when defending 4A state champion Bailey Nock (18:34.30) and teammate Kiara Malloy-Salgado (19:25.70) finished 1-2 as the Women of Troy collected the team title with 29 points over second-place Cedar Falls (64).

“There’s definitely pressure there, just because it’s expectations,” Nock said of the pursuit of a second individual state title next week. “I just need to try and stay focused on doing my race because it’s another year. I can’t take anything from last year, I can’t take anything from that race. … I don’t get a head start because of last year, so it’s more or less just making sure I stay focused.”

With seven runners in the top 24, third-place Iowa City High (82 points) also qualified for the girls’ state meet as a team, while Prairie freshman Laurdyn Meyer and Washington junior Reagan Gorman will compete as individuals.

Prep cross country

STATE-QUALIFYING DISTRICT MEET

(Top-3 teams, top-15 individuals advance to state)

Class 4A

BOYS’ RESULTS

Teams — 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie, 41; 2. Iowa City West, 68; 3. Cedar Rapids Washington, 72; 4. Cedar Falls, 98; 5. Iowa City High, 119; 6. North Scott, 158; 7. Muscatine, 186; 8. Western Dubuque, 200; 9. Waterloo West, 242; 10. Waterloo East, 0.

Individuals — 1. Kolby Greiner (ICW), 16:07.50; 2. Robert Laue (CRP), 16:18.90; 3. Brandon Conrad (Cedar Falls), 16:27.80; 4. Khory Nobles (CRW), 16:32.20; 5. Paul Schneidermann (CRW), 16:34.10; 6. Max Locher (CRW), 16:37.60; 7. Max Laue (CRP), 16:38.70; 8. Colton LaGrange (CRP), 16:40.10; 9. Caleb Burjes (CF), 16:43.00; 10. Jack Pendergast (CRP), 16:48.40; 11. Quenton Max (ICH), 16:48.90; 12. Tyler Olson (Musc), 16:48.50; 13. Yousif Salama (ICW), 16:59.10; 14. Elijah Vlasek (CRP), 17:03.50; 15. Ken Wilbur (ICW), 17:12.10.

GIRLS’ RESULTS

Teams — 1. Iowa City West, 29; 2. Cedar Falls, 64; 3. Iowa City High, 82; 4. North Scott, 106; 5. Cedar Rapids Prairie, 117; 6. Muscatine, 146; 7. Cedar Rapids Washington, 174; 8. Western Dubuque, 228; 9. Waterloo, 283.

Individuals — 1. Bailey Nock (ICW), 18:34.30; 2. Kiara Malloy-Salgado (ICW), 19:25.70; 3. Mackenzie Michael (CF), 19:27.90; 4. Laurdyn Meyer (CRP), 19:30.20; 5. Erica Buettner (ICW), 19:34.10; 6. Presley Case (NS), 19:34.50; 7. Colleen Bloeser (ICW), 19:36.80; 8. Reagan Gorman (CRW), 19:42.40; 9. Anna Hertz (CF), 19:44.90; 10. Amelia Morrow (ICH), 19:59.70; 11. Moriah Morter (Musc), 20:02.40; 12. Paige Kvale (CF), 20:02.90; 13. Sommer Clydesdale (NS), 20:10.70; 14. Deniz Ince (ICW), 20:20.60; 15. Abbi Lafrenz (NS), 20:21.70.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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